The mod with the crew of volunteers or the game that hasn't been announced yet? Neither one has a release date, yet both are eagerly awaited. There are those who say that neither will ever come to be. What do you think?
I doubt either of them can live up to the hype surrounding them. Half-Life 2 and the episodes had pretty mediocre gameplay, so all I'm expecting from Ep3/HL3 is tons of dialogue with some gameplay padding separating the first person cutscenes. Black Mesa will be a game I played over a decade ago with new graphics that are probably going to look dated by the time it releases.
Marcaek said: I thought that the ending battle in EP2 was excellent, myself. Of course I'm not a fan of the modern linear, story-driven style of FPSes there's only so much fun to be had from it.
I thought it went on too long, personally. Or rather, it was too repetitive. If they had mixed it up a bit more, I'm sure I would've been happy with the length, but every single encounter was the same thing. Ram down hunters, blow up strider, get another bomb, move on to the next one and do the same thing.
Too repetitive actually sums up HL2's gameplay in general. They tossed a lot of the more interesting opponents from the original, so your encounters basically go combine -> zombies -> combine -> zombies for the entire game. It's disappointing, since HL1 actually had a pretty interesting bestiary. They tossed out nearly everything. Ep2 finally gave us some diversity again, so maybe there is hope for Ep3/HL3.
There is at least tangible evidence that Black Mesa actually exists. There hasn't even been an announcement on Half-Life 3 (or Episode 3, or whatever the fuck they're doing now). There are assets, there are screenshots, there are videos, hell, there was even an alpha leak. If the project were canceled tomorrow, there would at least be resources to prove that it existed. 5 years after a cliffhanger ending of Episode 2, we don't even have a friggin' hint of what might come next.
Just... grah... all this talk about episodic gaming, all this teasing about how it will speed up development time, and then suddenly Valve goes friggin' silent for 5 years. Okay, so clearly episodic gaming didn't pan out. I still feel dumb for buying Sin Episodes: Emergence when it came out (I enjoyed the game, but BAM, next thing I know, the studio closes down and thus any hope of a continuation of that series is dead). Thing is, I think Valve has an obligation to at least communicate this much, to let us know what's going on and what to expect from the series. I usually don't say a game studio is obligated to do anything, but you can't just get everyone set on a given plan and then suddenly change the plan with no explanation.
I read an article a few months ago, I think it was on Eurogamer or RPS. It spoke of how HL1 was revolutionary in its time, how the HL2s were just "textbook" or "benchmark" games - they brought no massively exciting features to the table (except maybe the Gravity Gun) but were just "well done" first person shooters - and we've grown to expect no less from Valve.
However in the time since HL1 released, first person shooters have grown from the "just an arm" silent protagonist of Doom and Quake. Many games feature interactive dialog so even in an action game, you control aspects of the story and over gameplay. Many games nowadays have a player model for the protagonist which is an integral part of the experience - can you imagine Mirror's Edge if you couldn't see Faith's limbs?
The article summarised, the longer Valve leave Ep3 or HL3, the larger gameplay gap it has to bridge to really shine amongst its peers. They have a tough job ahead of them.
Well, my hopes aren't as high as they were for Doom 3. But Rage showed that they're still capable of making a game where shooting things is fun, even if everything else about it was a disaster. So there's hope that Doom 4 can at least be fun to play, and if it's atmosphere and coherent story and consistent visual quality is on par with Doom 3's then it should result in a pretty solid game if not a masterpiece. But what do I know?
Super Jamie said: [...]Many games nowadays have a player model for the protagonist which is an integral part of the experience - can you imagine Mirror's Edge if you couldn't see Faith's limbs?
I was pretty disappointed that I was still just a floating gun in Portal 2. I don't care as much in their multiplayer games, but Valve's single player stuff is supposed to be immersive. Isn't that the whole reason for having silent protagonists?
This guy has some interesting thoughts related to that:
I agree with everything he says, but I'm not sure if it's relevant to what I was implying. Half-Life and Portal series are both incredibly scripted and the player has no real control over the actions they take. HL2 made that all too apparent on my second playthrough, when all of those "alternate routes" I thought I passed up were actually dead ends. Valve's level designers are pretty masterful at giving you the illusion of choice, when you really have none. It's fun the first time, but it's kind of insulting on a second playthrough.
With that aside, the games are still incredibly immersive, and I think it's time we can at least see our character's body in first person (and have mirrors and such again), because the lack of those things are taking away from that immersion.
Dragonsbrethren said: I agree with everything he says, but I'm not sure if it's relevant to what I was implying.
It's relevant to Valve and immersion in the sense that, according to him, Half-Life games were engineered to immerse you as much as possible. However, they were made to do so for all the wrong reasons (IMO). You get into the games because they were made for you to feel good about yourself, not because you can feel like your choice in the game's world matters. Which, in my opinion, is a much better way to create immersion than putting your player on rails...
Personally, I'd find mirrors in FPS games less immersive because then I'd realize that whoever I'm playing doesn't look even close to how I look.
I found it both out of place and boring and BURN IN HELL XEN LOVING SPAWN OF SATAN.
Or you would, but doomguy blew it up.
It was not out of place, it brought a fresh scenario and I love alien worlds (and I have no problem with platforms). Also I would wish the same for you, but hell was "invaded" so many times it would be a walk in the park donw there... bring marshmallows. =P